Air France-KLM has expanded its no-fly zone over North Korea after the company’s flight carrying 323 people missed an area close to Pyong Yang's ballistic missile path by about 10 minutes last week.
Last Friday’s close encounter between the missile and Air France Flight 293 has raised fears that North Korea’s missile tests may pose a threat to airlines operating in the region. One of its jets flew past the location where an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) splashed down 10 minutes later, France 24 reported.
Countries holding missile tests or any military flights that could impact commercial overflights inform the International Civil Aviation Organisation, which in turn directs airlines to avoid a certain area. In the case of the North Korean missile tests, no such exercise was undertaken.
Air France’s Flight 293, a Boeing 777 carrying 323 people from Tokyo to Paris, missed North Korea’s latest ICBM as it fell to Earth on July 28 by about 100 km (60 miles),France 24 quoted an airline spokesman who citing flight data provided by Japan.
Air France-KLM flies direct to Tokyo and Osaka and the widening of the no-fly zone could make the flights 10 minutes to 30 minutes longer, depending on the direction, the spokesman said.
North Korea said on Saturday its latest ICBM test proved its ability to strike America’s mainland, drawing a sharp warning from US President Donald Trump and a rebuke from China.